Missouri man accused in shooting thought new gun law protected him

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – A Missouri man told police he thought the state’s new “stand your ground” gun law would protect him after allegedly shooting another man Monday, according to police.

Karl Henson

Karl O. Henson, 23, admitted he opened fire while running after a man whose back was turned, he later told officers in a probable cause statement.

Henson, who faces charges of armed criminal action and first degree assault, told police, “the only reason I thought it was OK to shoot at him while he was running away was because of what happened with the new year with the gun law change,” officer Spirit Stevens wrote.

Missouri instituted the “stand your ground” law in January, 2017, after the state legislature guaranteed the passage of Senate Bill 650 in September, despite Governor Jay Nixon’s earlier veto. The law allows people use deadly force instead of running away, as long as they believe deadly force will be used upon them.

On Monday afternoon, Henson met up with a 20-year-old man who wanted to buy an iPhone 7 from him, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.  While examining the phone, the 20-year-old allegedly took off with the device, running behind a duplex in a cul-de-sac on Riva Ridge Court in northern Columbia.

Henson told police he chased the man into a field, firing six shots and dropping one unspent round as he ran, according to the statement.

The shooting victim was wounded in the heel, and a private vehicle took him to University Hospital, police said.

Henson was arrested at the scene and taken to Boone County Jail, where he is being held without bond.


  • Huh !

    Having a weapon carries big responsibilities ! Know the law and act accordingly !
    If you’re selling a phone, turn on the GPS, meet in a public place with cameras and security, just use your head to minimize risk and don’t be surprised when something doesn’t go to plan.

  • Anon Ymous

    What about the guy who “stole” the iPhone? Has he been arrested and charged with theft? Does MS law have “guilt by association laws?” As in, if you commit a crime with your buddy, and he gets hurt, YOU are liable?

    If so, then the thief should be looking at the SAME charges as the shooter because the thief was in violation of the law to begin with.

  • Metal Maniac

    I’m all for guns but this is just stupid. Stand your ground has nothing to do with an unarmed person stealing your phone and running away. When I do craigslist deals I always have a gun nearby and would never sell anything small and valuable. That is for eBay.

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